August 24, 2006
TEN NEW HUMAN CASES OF WEST NILE VIRUS IN ILLINOIS BRINGING THE TOTAL TO 25
Rock Island and Union counties - newest counties reporting West Nile virus positive mosquito samples
SPRINGFIELD – Ten new human cases of West Nile virus have been reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) bringing the total this year to 25. New cases include:
The state’s first human West Nile virus death this year occurred yesterday, August 23.
“This is the riskiest time of year for West Nile virus. Mosquitoes that carry the virus peak around late summer so everybody needs to be vigilant against mosquito bites – the season is not over,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people with the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.
Only about two persons out of 10 who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness. Illness from West Nile disease is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death are possible. Persons older than 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease.
The Southern Seven Health Department collected Union County’s first West Nile virus mosquito sample in Cobden on August 21. The Rock Island County Health department reported a positive mosquito sample collected on August 4 in Moline and another collected on August 18 in the city of Rock Island.
To date, 60 counties out of 102 have reported positive test results for West Nile virus in mosquitoes and birds. A list of those counties can be found on the IDPH website.
Individuals can reduce their risk of West Nile illness and other mosquito-borne diseases by taking these precautions:
Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the Department’s Web site at www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm or people can call the West Nile Virus Hotline at 866-369-9710 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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